In this blog I discuss zafan music of Ethiopia, the secular genre of music. Ethiopian music is divided into two categories zafan [secular] and mezmur [gospel]. Zafan is the music that has been modernized and a part of today’s Ethiopian music. Although some things are missing from the modern music, it should still be considered zafan music.
The old, traditional style of zafan is still played today, but large cities are now playing more modern zafan. I have compared two songs, one traditional “Arhibu” by Zemenu Taddesse and one more modernized, “Sile Fikir” by Teddy Afro. The links to these videos are at the bottom of the page. Listen to both and decide for yourself if you think both of these songs belong in the same category.